Formosan termites are a subtype of subterranean termites that are found throughout the southern United States, as well as in Hawaii. They live in large nests beneath the soil, and they're incredibly destructive. Here's what you need to know about this type of termite.
How do you identify Formosan termites?
Formosan termites are large, and can reach lengths of up to half an inch. They have long, narrow bodies with oversized heads and long antennae, and look similar to ants. They can vary in color quite a bit and can be anywhere from white to brown.
What are the signs of an infestation?
Since Formosan termites live underground, they are very hard to detect, and homeowners need to pay close attention to subtle clues that termites could be present. They enter your home from below and eat the back side of the wood, so by the time you see visible damage, it's far too late.
You may notice lots of wings around your home, either inside or outside. You may also notice that your door or window frames are blistering or becoming distorted; this can be a clue that termites are eating the wood in that area. Damp areas on your walls or mysterious piles of dirt inside your house can also be clues.
How much damage do they cause?
Termites are responsible for a lot of property damage in the United States, and their damage is estimated in billions of dollars. Formosan termites alone cause about a billion dollars worth of damage each year, according to Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.
Why are they so destructive?
Formosan termites can eat through a foot of wood in less than a month, so your home can be destroyed very quickly. It can take as little as six months for a colony of Formosan termites to severely damage your home's structure. They're so destructive because their colonies are much larger than the colonies of other types of termites.
Other types of termites can have as many as one million individuals within their colonies, while Formosan termite colonies can contain a staggering ten million individuals. Some colonies can get even larger than that, and one colony in Louisiana contained more than seventy million individuals!
Formosan termite colonies are huge and very destructive, so you shouldn't try to deal with the problem by yourself. If you think you have termites, or any other type of destructive pest, contact a company like Mr. Bug Killer Inc right away before more of your home's structure can be destroyed.
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